When I'm in a slump, I comfort myself by saying if I believe in dinosaurs, then somewhere, they must be believing in me. And if they believe in me, then I can believe in me. Then I bust out.
~Mookie Wilson, World Series champion
I don't regret these purchases. Many of them remain treasured parts of my collection to which I frequently return.
Appparently I share this trait with my late father because at some point in the late '80s, Mom and Dad and some friends went to Nashville, Ind., to the Little Opry (RIP) for a show by some Nashville (Tenn.) headliner type. Ricky Skaggs, maybe?
But dad didn't come home with an Ricky Skaggs tapes -- yes, it was the age of cassette tapes. Instead, it was the opener, whoever he was. I don't remember the guy's name, but I recall that the tape was mostly cover songs. They were done pretty well, but I don't think any of us enjoyed it quite as well as Dad.
I shouldn't say much. My family probably has stories about what I subject them to.
All these years later, though, I just want to find that album again. And I can't. I only remember like three songs off of it, but I can't find any evidence of this album.
But I think it's safe to say that this guy, who may have opened for Ricky Skaggs (or somebody) in southern Indiana 30-plus years ago, is a little more obscure than The Gambler and Sir Paul.
Still, I have those three songs that occasionally float around my head sometimes. One was a cover of Conway Twitty's "I'd Love to Lay You Down." As big of a hit as that was for Conway, when I hear his version, I still think of the ways that it's different from the cover version that I've still heard dozens more times. (Thanks, Dad.)
Another is "Let it Roll (Let it Rock)," which was made popular in the country world by Mel McDaniel in the mid-'80s, but was actually originally known as "Let it Rock" when Chuck Berry released it back in 1960.
But the song I really want to hear, and of which I can't find any evidence, was apparently called "Chiseled in Stone." Now, it's not the Vern Gosdin song of the same name. Trust me. I've checked.
Sadly, the only lyrics I remember are from the chorus, which said, "Til death do us part is just written on paper, but I love you is chiseled in stone." The rest of the song followed a similar theme: Our love is deeper than just some vows that are written down.
I remember a bit of the melody, which in my memory is played on a dobro or something similar, but that's about all I have. I suppose that's all I have and all I will have.
The pre-internet age was kind of garbage, you know? I want to solve all my mysteries.
In the absence of that song, here's Conway Twitty and Mel McDaniel.
I was surrounded by Conway's music when I was a kid. When I got older and understood things a little better, I was shocked to realize how many of those songs I'd been singing along to since I was like four years old were just about getting it on.
So it goes.
I'm kind of ticked I can't find the original video of this one. I know that "Louisiana Saturday Night," "Baby's Got Her Blue Jeans On" and "Stand Up" were all bigger hits for McDaniel, but I love his version of this song.
And there was a video. I remember it from The Nashville Network when I was a kid. Mel and his band were playing on a flat car of a moving train. It was pretty cool. The fact that it doesn't exist on YouTube means you've let me down a second time today, Internet.
Before we go, a quick sidenote on Mel McDaniel. In my mind, I think I got his name mixed up Pacers legend Mel Daniels. Because of that, I thought that Charlie Daniels and Mel Daniels (sic) were brothers or something.
I had a similar mix-up with Earl Thomas Conley and John Conlee -- though that one didn't involve a two-time ABA MVP. I once told this particular mess-up to my mom (I wasn't aware of the different spellings) even positing that I though that Earl Thomas and John sounded similar. She looked at me like I'd sprouted a third ear.
Either way, I hope you enjoyed the tunes. And if, by some chance, my mystery singer rings any kind of bell for any of you, dear readers, please enlighten me.